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Re: widescreen monitor

I have a four-year old Dell desk top. The monitor just died. I bought an LG widescreen, but it looks terrible, apparently because my computer isn't capable of getting a high enough resolution. Should I get a new graphics card, or stick with a lower resolution, square monitor? I don't watch movies on the computer, but mainly use it to write and read stuff online.

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Assuming the PC has a slot for which you can still get a suitable graphics card, the card will cost very little. The advantage of the widescreen is that, for example, you can get a web browser window and a text editor window side-by-side so you can work on the text and see what you're writing about/responding to simultaneously. Alternatively, you can see two A4 pages side-by-side which is sometimes useful. You can also see a full page of text and have all the tool palettes you need by its side. One last advantage: If your new monitor has a DVI socket and you get a video card which has DVI output, you should get a better quality picture which will be easier on your eyes.

Posted on Jun 02, 2008

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I feel the phrase "they just don't make them like they used to" really apply's here. My first LCD monitor I bought probably about 6-7 years ago when I was still in high school, and it still works to this day. I have bought 5 more since then and all of them have died within the first two years. This is commonly due to bad capacitors within the monitor, and most monitors now come with two years manufacturer warranty's because of this.
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Here's a "heads-up" for anyone that hasn't experienced this problem, in case they ever do, as it drove me nuts. Has anyone ever had this happen?

Apparently, when a widescreen (or maybe any LCD, though I've never seen nor hear of this) is about to die, one sign can be a sudden change in your resolution, without being able to be put back, before it finally dies.

Here's the scenario:

I was running a Chemei 22" widescreen monitor. Only a few months old. Reformatted one of my drives, everything was running fine. Ate dinner with the wife, a few hours later turned my system back on, and the entire screen is huge (resolution dropped). Checked properties, and my system was only allowing me to run at either a lower or higher resolution, which is totally bizarre, and I did not have the choice (out of the three) of my native resolution. Attempted to reinstall my GPU driver (nVidia), at first figuring that was the issue. No luck. Tried it again, in a few different ways, but to no avail.

Alright, so then I get this odd thought (because everything else I knew it couldn't be, it obviously wasn't), "What if it's the monitor? If I'm being allowed a higher resolution, the driver must be working alright, but something with the monitor is screwing up the settings. Is that even possible if a monitor is dying?". Well, apparently it is, though I've never seen it once in all my years of building systems.

Finally, I decided to reformat the same drive again, and towards the end of installing XP Pro, waiting to install the GPU driver first thing, the monitor shut off completely. Alright, so I grab my wife's monitor, plug it in... bingo... everything is fine.

So, while some here might have seen this happen, for those who haven't, I had to drop a line about this because it was so damn bizarre, and figured it could be a good piece of info for anyone who ever happens to have this happen to them. Also to warn against even bothering with Chemei monitors.

While I've been building systems for myself, friends and family for years, I'm not heavy on the side of knowing all about LCD monitors, and while I've seen some strange things, I've never actually seen any monitor die in such manner.

If anyone has seen this happen, or knows if it's something just with Chemei monitors, I'd be curious to know. Otherwise, again, just wanted to drop the info in case anyone wakes up to such an odd and frustrating situation.

If reinstalling your drivers doesn't solve the issue, then it would appear (apparently) that it can be a sure-fire sign that your monitor is about to die.

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